How to cast the coins - and why.

    The I Ching is a book of divination, but that does not mean it is a "fortune-telling" book.

    Divination originally was the means to find out what the gods or ancestors or spirits or whatever had to say. In modern words, we would call it: finding out what your intuition says. I like the old way better, calling it gods, but many people have no idea anymore what gods and spirits are. They are looking for them somewhere outside themselves.

    If you ask God for guidance, you do it by praying. An excellent way, but in many situations not practical. For everyday life there are possibilities closer to everyday life. It is difficult to pray 5 minutes before a meeting, and get an answer too. Or while driving on a highway. The strange thing about the I Ching is, that it is a book of wisdom, which actually answers you. 

    Why do people throw coins, or see a paranormal medium, or read tea leaves, or go to an astrologer? Because, to hear your intuition, you have to stop rational thinking. There is nothing wrong with thinking, but it overrules the faint voice of intuition. By throwing coins you take the first step on an irrational path, and you leave the rational one.

    The danger when consulting a medium or astrologer and all those other people offering their services: there is always a part of this person in the answer. Some try only to get your money out of your pocket, but most have not such low ends. They genuinely want to help, but they are helping you according to their own view on things. To find someone who only makes you find your own solution is an impossible search, because they are extremely rare. This is the reason why the Yi Jing has survived so many centuries: he gives YOUR answer and nothing else. 

    Phrase your question. The way of putting it is very important. Do not ask for a solution, ask: what does fate have in store if I do this - and a second question on the same issue: what if I not do this (or if I do that). I Ching does not tell you what to do; it will help you to tell yourself.

    Get 3 coins. What kind of coins is not important. Too big ones are difficult to tumble around in your hands, but shaking them in a box works fine too. Decide which side of them is active, male, bright: yang. And which side is feeling, female, mysterious: yin. Usually the head is used for yang and the tails for yin.
    Throw them once: this is the bottom line of a hexagram. Draw the line as indicated below (the complete hexagram given here is only an example: yours will look different):

3 x head: old (or big) yang
1 x head: young yang
3 x tail: old (or big) yin
1 x tail: young yin

    When you have thrown the coins 6 times you have a complete hexagram. Always start at the bottom, every next line above the previous one! Now it looks for example like picture A above. On the page 'choose' you find hexagram 53. When you change the 'old' lines into their opposites, it will look like picture B above. On the page 'choose' you find hexagram 49.

The above trigram (top three lines) is
bottom trigram is


The above trigram (top three lines) is
bottom trigram is

    First you read the text of hexagram 53. In this case the hexagram talks about accomplishment by continually staying faithful to it. Lines 1, 4 and 6 are 'old' or moving, their text is important. They give you clues about what you can do best in this situation. Line 1 is about action, 4 about decisions and 6 about spiritual achievement and influences. Here, an emphasis on these three realms means that hexagram 53 changes to hexagram 49: revolution, sudden and total change and renewal.

   For an e-mail course about the I Ching (short, good, to the point and easy to follow, 8 mails, FREE): For many examples of readings and for learning: following the questions and answers on Clarity's website